Sometimes nothing feels better than to hear a solid, straight-ahead jazz trio. Of course, that can only be true if all three players are top-flight soloists, are capable of sophisticated group interplay and have chosen their material intelligently.
Daddio Don is a prime example of trio jazz played right. Roger Kellaway is an elegant, technically equipped pianist who's clearly conversant with every stage of jazz's history. Drummer Alex Riel, with his long pedigree of accompanying a who's who of visiting American musicians at Copenhagen's famed Montmartre club, manages to combine fiery propulsion with subtlety and good taste. The putative leader of this very democratic ensemble, bassist Mads Vinding, like Riel, has made a career of working with American stars. He's got a big, round tone, impeccable time and he listens.
Daddio Don is a nicely balanced album. If the program tends to intelligent introspection (starting with a beautiful nod to Debussy on the opener “Blue in Green”), it has plenty of intensity when required.
All three players dig into “How Deep Is the Ocean” from start to finish. The title track is a slightly askew gospel piece with a wobbly unison bass line. There's also an irresistibly coy “Just Squeeze Me” that competes with “Days of Wine and Roses” as the album's best number. You can't go wrong with Daddio Don.